A study has highlighted the phenomenon of apparently heterosexual women who become lesbians later in life.

The Telegraph reported on the study by Christan Moran, a researcher at Southern Connecticut State University in the US, which appears to contradict growing consensus that sexual orientation is biologically based and cannot be changed.

According to Moran, the phenomenon is not simply a case of repressed lesbians coming to terms with their sexuality but, she argues, some women appear to “make a full transition to a singular lesbian identity… in other words change their sexual orientation”.

The researcher concluded that there is “great potential for heterosexual women to experience a first same-sex attraction well into adulthood”.

Critics point out that Moran’s study only encompassed 200 women, whom she interviewed, but there is some support that women’s sexual orientation may be more flexible than men’s.

The researcher noted that “becoming lesbian” later in life was not an easy change. “To leave a heterosexual marriage in favour of lesbian identity is to abdicate enormous and undeniable privilege”.

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